Monday, 2 December 2013

Black Fish, inspiring documentary

Today I have watched a shocking documentary about killer whales kept in captivity in Sea parks. Nothing new, I know. But this practice has to be stopped.

Like Morgan, an orca being captured off the coasts from the Netherlands with the goal of taking care of her health and releasing her again to the Ocean. Since then she is being kept in Loro Parque, about 30 minutes driving from where I live. And let me tell you: what a shame!

On December 3rd the International Court in Den Haag is going to rule on the case. Deciding whether Morgan can be granted freedom as promised. More info here.

Depriving any living being of freedom is a major crime, we all agree with that. But then putting this principle into practice seems to be a rather difficult task to achieve especially when money is at stake.
And this is the case of Tilikum:

Which case inspired the making of a moving documentary called Black Fish which has awarded at the Sundance Film Festival in the USA and nominated at the Sheffield Film Festival for the special jury in 2013.

Here's the trailer:

The documentary speaks for itself. What I would like to share is that is that people should think twice before visiting Loro Parque in Tenerife.

Where along with Morgan many dolphins and other animals are kept captive. Buying a ticket to these sea parks is voting for captivity and torture of these gorgeous creatures.

What are kids who go and visit these venues supposed to learn? Keeping animals captive for their enjoyment is a right thing to do?

A wise man from India used to say: be the change you wish to see...

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Carry a beer crate on your bike, here's the orange solution

Who else could invent something practical  (and orange!) to carry a beer crate on your bike?

The Dutchies of course!

Kratvast (means something like "fixed crate") will be available at Blokker stores from the end of May:

Here's more info:

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Doing time doing Vipassa, an inspirational documentary

It is thank to my dear friend Sabine and to this documentary that I got to know this exceptionally good as extremely tough and effective meditation technique.

It is, though, thank to a prick that I got to consider the Vipassana course nothing but a hierarchical organisation. Pitty though:

Monday, 13 May 2013

La Palma: let nature guide you through its wonders

La Palma better known among Canarians as La isla bonita is a definition that speaks for itself, and gives you a hint of what you can expect when visiting this lavishly green island. Just soak in its nature and let
La Palma inspire you through your travels.
This island is not famous for its beaches, but for its excellent hiking routes, the best in the whole archipelago (7 islands).

Parque Nacional de la Caldera de Taburiente

View from Ruta de Los Volcanes

As all the other Canary Island, La Palma, has volcanic origins and enjoys mild climate all year around. However, the best times to visit are during spring and autumn, as winter might be rainy and summers extremely hot for hiking or walking around.

Another breathtaking site was the Astronomical Observatory on the top of the the Taburiente, the Pico de la Cruz (Roque de los Muchachos) at 2.351 mt altitude hosts one of the biggest telescopes in the word! Needless to say, looking at the stars should be a magic show only astronomers have the privilege to experience. In fact, I am not sure visitors get a chance to lodge here at night, since the area is under constant surveillance.

Science-fiction landscape of one of the telescopes at Los Roques de Los Muchachos

With its 18.260 inhabitants and a beautiful historical centre built in colonial style, Santa Cruz de La Palma is the sweet capital of the island.
This  little town hosts some of the most wild parties as the Lunes de los Indianos, celebrated on Monday during carnival where everybody throws talc at one another contributing to a snow white and look of the city like this. Carnival is the biggest event that nobody should miss across the Canary Islands.

Another original celebration is the one of Virgen de Las Nieves with the Enanos (dwarfs) every five years between July and August.
The last one was in 2010. Nobody really knows who is hiding under this dwarf costume.

This what it looks like:

Those who love good wine and food will find plenty of inspiration in La Palma, famous for its excellent wine routes along Villa de Mazo, just south of Santa Cruz.

In the south, alont the Ruta de los Volcanes, you can see Volcán San Antonio and in the Tourist centre you can watch a movie about his last eruption in 1971 that annexed some hectares to the island..

Volcán San Antonio 657 mt

Black sand desert -Fuencaliente-
Salinas Fuencaliente

Endemic plant

Visiting this beautiful island can take up to 5 days if you want to see it all. With the help of local in three days I could more or less see everything without haste. 
Oh yes! Almost forgot... that some roads do not allow you to drive at full speed, so take it easy as Canarios know no rush, and drive safely...

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Sbarcata alle Canarie, nuova vita?

Da più di un mese mi interrogo se sia il caso di scrivere qualche aggiornamento in questo spazio narrativo digitale sugli ultimi spostamenti. E mi pare sia giunta l'ora di riempire qualche pagina con le mie prime impressioni di un cambio di vita radicale.
Uno dei miei posti preferiti: el Médano

Uno dei mercati più belli che io abbia mai visto

Considerando che sono arrivata in pieno carnevale e che il fenomeno qui è sentito tanto quanto a Rio de Janeiro, posso dirmi privilegiata.

Eccone la prova...

Dopo il marasma carnavalero, che, per la cronaca, finisce proprio a Pasqua, alla faccia della funzione del carnevale come festa catartica che si esaurisce 40 giorni prima della passione. Scrive una che non ha mai letto la bibbia né conosce bene le feste religiose. E forse chi ne sa più di me, se n'è accorto. In ogni caso qui la festa è molto sentita e dura più di un mese, con un gran sfilare di carri ai quali si lavora già da settembre e che hanno poco da invidiare a quelli di Rio.

Tanto per darvi un esempio queste sono le due regine del carnevale di Santa Cruz de Tenerife ora esposte all'ingresso del centro commerciale della capitale tinerfeña (ovvero di Tenerife). Lo so, le si poteva esporre altrove, in un museo o che so io, mi duole profondamente ammetterlo, ma la domenica c'è molta più gente nel centro commerciale che nei musei...

Ci sono poi tutta una serie di "Coso" ovvero di sfilate di adulti in maschera e di bambini per le vie principali della città. Che culminano con El entierro de la sardina (sepoltura della sardina) il mercoledì delle ceneri, che, solo in teoria, segna la fine del carnevale. In pratica è un corteo funebre mascherato che si esaurisce dando fuoco alla sardina prima che venga sotterrata. La sardina simboleggia il passato che viene sotterrato e dal quale, si spera, si avrà una società rinnovata.

Un rituale di buon auspicio per una nuova vita al sole. Finalmente...

Un uomo che cambia, cambia il mondo

Un post degno di lettura e visione dal blog di Claudio Messora

Simone Perotti, scrittore e blogger anche per Il Fatto Quotidiano espone la sua visione di cambiamento
e demassificazione dell'individuo perfettamente in linea con quanto ho letto in Adesso Basta! 
Edito da ChiareLettere.
Condivido appieno.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Iceland: a different planet down to Earth


extremely old lava formation (300 years old), 34 active volcanoes, the largest glacier of Europe (Vatnajökull), violent gushes of hot water directly from the centre of the earth, mix it all together, and you´ll get Iceland.

Landscape on Reykjavik's volcano

Thorsmork and the Trolls
 A land of extreme contrasts where painters, photographers, or visual artists in general, might go completely out of their minds. I can guarantee you :þ
Jökulsárlón Lagoon

Skogafoss rainbowed waterfalls :-)

You´ll go through forgotten gravel roads, crossing rivers (hold your breath), watching giant lava pinnacles sticking out of deep blue sea, herds of (many black) sheep and Icelandic horses dotting the emerald green hills, icebergs floating on a lagoon, boiling hot springs, geysers erupting 3 mt high hot water fountains, and amazing wooden cottages. Nurturing the eye, the mind, and mostly the desire to enjoy untouched nature stretches.

Waterfall's spray effect! The water does not touch the ground!

This snap reveals why Vik is by far my favourite spot on Iceland.

Lava beach at Vik

This what I have seen and experienced in a 13-day trip around the island with Stefi and Norman.
Meeting a lot of interesting people on the way, among whom a lot of Germans... For a moment I thought I stepped on the wrong plane. But after a while I could also spot some travellers of other nationalities and bashful locals.

These two guys discouraged 7 sturdy tourists from going all the way up to Skaftafell waterfalls.
No joking: learn how to make eye contact with rams before you trespass their territory.

Vatnajökull glacier

Expedition on Vatnajökull with a local mountain guide

Throughout the 4,000 km we ate up on the way, we have seen a different natural landscapes that changed every 5 km, possibly resembling any country you might have visited before: New Zealand, USA, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Alaska. Or if you have been lucky enough the Moon, or Mars!

It is pretty difficult to estimate distance on Iceland as something like a mountain or a volcano that looks very close, can instead be several kilometres away.

Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Driving off Dettifoss -Myvatn-

It is funny how every stretch could look like something you have already seen, but it is in fact totally different as Iceland parted from the main continent some 20 million years ago, and was in the beginning uninhabited. Then the Vikings from Norway decided to settle. Funny thing: they talk about settlers because, allegedly the island was only inhabited by fauna not by human beings. So technically the Vikings were no colonisers...

The locals descend from Irish and Norse Vikings who started settling on the Iceland and people´s surnames are actually patronymics ending in son and dóttir.

Hallgrímskirkju -Reykjavik-

People on Iceland are friendly and helpful, I guess because the weather makes life difficult, and some human touch is necessary sometimes.

As a vegetarian, I cannot really say much about local food, as it consists mainly of stews, and dried or rotten fish.
Junk food rifles here, but I cannot remember a single McDonald's. And now I know why. Junk food can help you save money, (but not your liver) as it is the only cheap food you can find around. If you dare...

A modern alternative to Icelandic snacks
 All in all this 13 day trip has been a lot more surprising than what I thought. Iceland can really make you feel at peace with nature which can be rough as well as extremely generous.

The finishing touch of the holiday was the sudden green-lighted sky on the last night at Reykjavik. The phenomena known as northern lights, or polar lights is simply stunning.

These great shots are by Stefi.

Takk Fyrir Ísland! :)